Disney has released an app for the Xbox 360 called the Best of Disney. We are a three Xbox 360 household, and the console spends a lot of time providing entertainment for me, my wife and two boys. We actually have cable boxes in the boys’ rooms but they rarely turn them on. Instead, they are using their Xbox 360 as a media hub. Besides gaming, they’re watching Netflix and Youtube. The Xbox 360 is their go to device for entertainment.
When the media alert hit my inbox about the Best of Disney app, I decided to try the app and see what it had to offer. First off, it took me awhile to locate the Best of Disney app and pin it to the home screen. Once I found it and downloaded the app (over 100 MB), I opened it to give it a test drive.
It looks just like the Xbox 360/Windows 8 tile setup with a few boxes for video choices and a menu at the top you can scroll through. I assumed it would just be clips from their Disney Channel shows and upcoming movies. I was partially right.
One of the first surprises was the 36 animated shorts that you could watch. These aren’t the crappy Disney BLAM! adaptations (but the full animated short BLAM! shorts are there). They range from fairly recent titles like the Goofy short, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and eElectric Holiday, and the new Minnie Mouse short, which is really strange and oddly un-appealing for those of us not living in the New York fashionista world. There were plenty of other shorts featuring Donald, Mickey and the others. I was impressed with the offerings.
As you explore the other tabs, you can see the mix of corporate synergy and blatant self-promotion. There was a tab for the current Disney shows, like Jessie and AJ & Ally. They were just short clips and highlights from the shows.
Besides the classic shorts, the real standout was the Doofenshmirtz Daily Dirt. It’s a weekly web show featuring the evil scientist from the amazing Phineas & Ferb animated show. It was obvious it was a rehash of the YouTube show, but I didn’t know there was a YouTube show. The nine year-old asked to watch all 14 of them.
Something I didn’t expect were animated shorts from non-Disney artists. There was a wide array different types of shorts that kids and adults will enjoy. Many of them were fairly cutting edge.
All-in-all, you can get these videos (well, most of them) in other places. What I really liked about the Best of Disney app for the Xbox 360 was that the viewer was in a confined space, so to speak. I’ve seen some of the strange (and inappropriate) related videos that come up on YouTube and you don’t get that feature with the Xbox 360 app. There are commercials, but they are more like public television shorts. We watched one variation for young girls about being a strong princess—it was a great message but it was a bit of overkill. So, I’d feel safer letting younger kids spending time in front of this app to get their Disney fix instead of just surfing YouTube.
Have you tried out the Best of Disney app? What do you think about the features of the app for the Xbox 360?
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By George Taylor
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